Barclay Crenshaw: The Sonic Alchemist Returns
December 15, 2023
December 15, 2023
When it comes down to all the press and hype, his name says it all. He is Worthy. With an in-depth knowledge of production, mixing, and performance, Worthy has the insight to play for his audience, cultivating intense positive energy on the dance floor that can only be portrayed as superhuman. His sound can be described as organic breakbeats with a mix of future house, 80’s, booty bass, and techno. As Carl Cox said, “The Worthy sound has always been powerful, rocking, funky, bass-driven music at its best, and for me this is the new wave in house music.” Worthy has received the recognition of major producers who have played his tracks including Sven Vath, Diplo, and Richie Hawtin, among many.
From salty aired islands to dark club basements, Worthy pays reverence to the traditional form of classic house while tripping off the mark and sinking into the euphoric less-charted territories of booty-clapping bass. Touring the globe, Worthy has performed at renowned venues like Hive in Switzerland, Sankeys in the UK, Electric Pickle in Miami, and Mezzanine in San Francisco. Beloved by his fanatical devotees, Worthy has drawn huge crowds to catch his heart-palpitating, sweat-inducing sets at festivals like Ultra, Love Parade, and Burning Man. In 2011, Urb Magazine named Worthy one of the Top DJ’s To See at Burning Man, along with M.A.N.D.Y., Andy C, Soul Clap, Seth Troxler, and The Crystal Method.
Growing up in Washington DC, Worthy was inspired by the early American rave scene. Upon moving to New York in the late 90’s, he was exposed to artists like LTJ Bukem and Stacey Pullen whose music inspired him to play records across multiple genres, from techno and breaks to hiphop and drum n’ bass. In 2001 he swapped coastlines, moving to San Francisco to pursue his music career. He team up with Claude VonStroke as well as fellow east coast brothers Justin and Christian Martin to create the prodigious outdoor party, Dirtybird, which quickly became an institution and a requisite destination for die-hard Bay Area and international fans. Dirtybird Records hatched from the popularity of these parties in 2005, and since then the label and parties have enjoyed tremendous success fueled by the obsession of their cult following.
In 2007 Worthy’s breakout track, Irst Te, released on Dirtybird, quickly established his notoriety as a producer. Concurrently, Worthy released Crack El EP on Leftroom, and soon after, the track Work The Walls and it’s accompanying music video on his personal label, Anabatic Records. Originally intended as an outlet for the release of his own music, Anabatic quickly branched out to sign new artists. Riding the frontlines of today’s music scene, Anabatic Records has been providing a steady stream of edgy, high quality tracks.
In recent years, Worthy has produced a consistent slough of top releases. The release of Worthy & Yankee Zulu’s Concumbia charted in the Top 10 on Beatport for tech house in 2009. He also released various tracks and remixes on Discobelle Records. In the fall of 2011, Worthy teamed up with UK producer Eats Everything. Their first track, Tric Trac, released on Dirtybird received industry praise. Played by artists like Diplo, Boyz Noise, and Cats N’ Dogs, Tric Trac wildly grew in fan appeal moving on to become one of the Top 10 on Beatport for tech house once again. Additionally, Worthy’s simultaneous releases, No Cure and With This combine dirty ass-clapping breaks and gritty synths. The pinball effect of his intricate basslines traverse across the cavern of your ear canal moving inward and blowing your mind. Illustrating the diverse juxtaposition of his range and sound, his February 2012 release, Why You Waiting, on Alive Records, is like glassy water on a quiet morning sea, his beats & melodies mirroring each other, creating a melodic interface that warms the soul. As Worthy states “I want to push my new sound, which is leaning more toward a breakbeat old-school vibe, but still want to keep with the fact that I play house and techno. My focus is to stay innovative and authentic and to continually reinvent myself as an artist.”
Worthy has an original flavor that will amp you up, leaving you feigning for more. The synchronization of Worthy’s music speaks to the connoisseur, the DJ, the groupie and the novice alike. Finding balance and unison across all electronic music platforms, his music is unparalleled. He reads his crowd, breaking and fusing genres, blending styles, and establishing an energetic dance floor camaraderie that makes even the most skeptic hater’s booty shake.